Avid Insect Assassins (A Part-Two Post)

In Yesterday’s post, I shared pictures of this beautiful Phoebe, an insect assassin that has taken up residence on my front porch.

Well, while I was outside admiring her beauty, another bug slayer made an appearance, and it was one that I had never photographed before! A male Summer Tanager!

This guy is stop-you-in-your-tracks stunning! Sitting in the sun with a brilliant blue backdrop made his colors look fake, but trust me, he really is that bright!

These seasonal songbirds arrive here in north Georgia just as the trees are sprouting their spring leaves and, despite their vibrant color, are quite adept at hiding in the tree-tops. The good news is that even when you can’t see them, you can still hear them. They are constant crooners.

Besides their beauty, what is wonderful about Summer Tanagers is that they eats wasps! They will stay concealed amidst the leaves…

…and then dart out and snare an unsuspecting target.

Once the Tanager catches the wasp, he will beat it before he eats it, body slamming it against a branch to remove the stinger. It is fascinating!

I am thrilled that these birds should be around throughout the summer months, so hopefully this was not a one and done experience.

Now, if I could just get him to show up on an overcast day and pose on a leafless limb with a clear background with a bee dangling from his beak and his yellow-toned bride by his side….hey, it doesn’t hurt to hope, right!

10 thoughts on “Avid Insect Assassins (A Part-Two Post)

  1. The male tanager is quite a guy! Such a vibrant color. Better yet kills wasps. We don’t have them here in San Diego. Thanks for sharing Kathy!

  2. ….such a delight to see these portraits of a species we could only wish were in the interior of British Columbia. The closest we get to such beauty is the Western Tanager. Thank you for always going out there to record for us these ornithological treasures!

  3. Wow! What a lovely visitor!! (Please send him over to Oslo this summer if he would like to eat some more wasps….) As always, thanks for sharing your feathered visitors with us.

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